You can Run, but you can’t Hide / The boxer Joe Louis, 1914-81 | Photos by Carl Van Vechten, 1941

The boxer Joe Louis 1914 81
Joe Louis, Greenwood Lake, NY, 1941, photo by Carl Van Vechten

‘I was born in a sharecropper’s tumbledown shack on a dirt road in Alabama, on May 13th 1914.
Later, I was a Depression kid in the Detroit slums.
Whenever I could, I earned a few cents after school by working on an ice truck.
I toted 75lbs chunks of ice three or four floors up.

Nights I hung out at the corner with the Catherine Street boys. Most all they ever
talked about was how much the big fighters took home in their purses.

I had just started to take violin lessons, and one of the gang showed me that
Kid Chocolate and Jack Dempsey made more money in one fight than a good fiddler
could make in a couple of lifetimes.’

Joe Louis
Joe Louis, Greenwood Lake, NY, 1941, photo by Carl Van Vechten

“A champion doesn’t become a champion in the ring, he’s merely recognized
in the ring. His “becoming” happens during his daily routine.”

“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

“You need a lot of different types of people to make the world better.”

Joe Louis 
Joe Louis, Greenwood Lake, NY, 1941, photo by Carl Van Vechten

“There is no such thing as a natural boxer. A natural dancer has to practice hard.
A natural painter has to paint all the time. Even a natural fool has to work at it.”

“He can run, but he can’t hide.”

“If you gotta tell them who you are, you ain’t nobody.”

Joe Louis 
Joe Louis, Greenwood Lake, NY, 1941, photo by Carl Van Vechten
“I can show you how to box. I can teach you every technique and trick I know, but I can never
make you a fighter. That comes from inside, and it’s something no one else can ever give you.”
Joe Louis 
Joe Louis, Greenwood Lake, NY, 1941, photo by Carl Van Vechten
Joseph Louis Barrow (1914 – 1981) was an American professional boxer who competed from
1934 to 1951. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, and is
considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Nicknamed the Brown
Bomber, Louis’ championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he
participated in 27 championship fights.
Joe Louis (1914 – 1981)
Louis’s cultural impact was felt well outside the ring. He is widely regarded as the first
African American to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and
was also a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II. He also
was instrumental in integrating the game of golf, breaking the sport’s color barrier in America
 by appearing under a sponsor’s exemption in a PGA event in 1952.
Joe Louis, honorary member of the PGA of America

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